Vietnam's Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh at a consultation (Photo: VNA)

Vientiane (VNA) – The 19th consultation between ASEAN economic ministers and ministers from ASEAN’s partner countries of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (RoK) was held in Vientiane, Laos, on August 4.

Addressing the consultation, which took place within the framework of the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (AEM) and related meetings, the Chinese, Japanese and RoK ministers highly appreciated the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) late last year.

The event has helped turn ASEAN into a more integrated, connected, competitive and dynamic region while contributing to raising regional economic growth and accelerating the group’s integration into the global economy, they said.

They also expressed their delight at the sustainable trade and investment ties between the bloc and the three countries despite the unstable global economic recovery.

Combined trade revenue between the ten-member group and the three countries hit 706.6 billion USD in 2015, equivalent to over 31 percent of the bloc’s total trade value.

The three countries together injected 31 billion USD in foreign direct investment into ASEAN last year, accounting for 26 percent of total FDI poured into the region, the consultation heard.

The ministers suggested the East Asia Business Council (EABC) make greater efforts to speed up economic integration in the region, improve its capacity, increase integration between small- and medium-sized enterprises in East Asia and facilitate the development of e-commerce in the region.

They noted with pleasure collaboration between the council and the ASEAN-China, ASEAN-Japan and ASEAN-RoK centres, which have promoted investment and trade affiliation between ASEAN and the three partner countries.-VNA